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Darian back to US

By Mark Etheridge

Athens gold medallist Darian Townsend heads back to the States this week having successfully booked his ticket to a third Olympic Games in London later this year.

Having already swum a qualifying time in the 200-metre Individual Medley in Atlanta earlier this year, Townsend was also in with a shout in the 200m and 100m freestyle events at the national swimming championships that wrapped up in Durban at the weekend.

As things turned out he only qualified for the 200m IM in Durban but his spot on Team South Africa has been sealed with this silver (1min 59.34sec) behind Chad le Clos in Saturday’s final.

“It was a tough and stressful week for me,” Townsend told Road to London 2012. “After I missed the time in the 200 free [he missed out by just 0.06sec] and then came third in the 100 free, I only had the 200 IM left to try qualify.

“I’m very relieved to have done the time in that event. I had done the time before, but doing here at the trials was way more stressful!”

“But I got it done and so I am off to London in July to represent South Africa at my third Olympics!

Townsend won gold for South Africa in the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay at the 2004 Olympics (along with Roland Schoeman, Lyndon Ferns and Ryk Neethling. He also swam at the last Olympics, reaching the semi-final of the 200m IM and made the final of the 4x100m relay as well.

So whats next for the big KwaZulu-Natalian. “I fly out on Tuesday night to the States. When I get back I’ll probably swim three meets in the build-up to London. That will be one local meeting in Tucson, another one in Phoenix late May and then the last one in early July in Omaha.

“But other than that, I will be training my tail off for London.”


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